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January 08, 2009


Jacob Russell

Too many dark cold rainy days in succession... thank you. This made me smile!

I have a memory... won't go into it, a moment inspired not by Russian nihilistic literature, but by a too superficial encounter with Zen... at a party when someone asked me what I wanted to "be," and I answered, "nothing."

Little did I know... how in 50 years I would manage to mostly achieve that goal...


LOL.... sounds devastatingly familiar! Ah the sands of time :-)


great post!

also reminds me of a time in my life . . . someone asked, "what do you do?" and i told them "my life consists of really no acts . . . no gesture."

of course they thought i was pretentious and just trying to be 'cool', but i figured that was the best way to explain it.

'nothing' forever!


Interestingly, as a fiction writer, when people ask me what my novels are about, i reply in all seriousness,nothing.

Yet,I work long hard disciplined days to write nothing. There is somwthing about agency, and being afforded (albeit with difficulty in a toxic capitalist society) the space to construct one's own work, that somehow melds idenity and work so one is left with a sense of doing nothing.

I can't quite get a handle on it, but what are we in this nothingness, that hails from the freedom to engage our own work often with ferocious self discipline? It becomes intangible to speak or it, or explain ourselves in the context of a society incapacitaied with the work ethic. The ethic of alienation allows us to be something. But in engaging that ethic, we are truely nothing.

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